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SCPD Officer and Wife Fuel Take Back Santa Cruz Witch Hunt on Social Media
Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC) is targeting community members again on social media, which is being aided by the false identification of a "suspect" by Officer Wes Hansen of the Santa Cruz Police. Yesterday TBSC published a photo of two "suspects" of a crime on their public Facebook page. The post has been shared over 300 times. TBSC says the photo was taken by a "community member" and it was not circulated or shared by law enforcement. In the comments section on the TBSC post, a witch hunt style attack on the men ensues, containing the false accusation from SCPD Officer Wes Hansen.
Officer Hansen named and falsely identified one of the men in the photo in its comment section.
Also, Officer Hansen's wife, Crissy Hansen, engaged in tandem personal attacks on the men in the photo, calling them "trolls".
The comment by Officer Hansen was not left to stand without correction. The sister of the man named by Hansen said that the person in the photo was not her brother and that Hansen was wrong about his name.
There were other personal attacks and threats left towards the men in the photo by TBSC members on the post.
Most Take Back Santa Cruz members did not grow up in Santa Cruz. On his Facebook account, Wes Hansen says he is from Irvine, California.
Officer Wes Hansen and his wife Crissy Hansen are outspoken TBSC members who have made many other inappropriate comments on social media.
After life-long local Sean Arlt was shot and killed by an officer with the Santa Cruz Police Department last month, community members on Facebook criticized police for killing him. Many citizens didn't think police should have killed a man for holding a rake, and that the rake couldn't have been considered a real threat to police.
Crissy Hansen said this to those people on Facebook in response:
"They all need to get on a "Do Not Respond" list. If you don't like police, they won't respond when you need them. Those idiots can take care of themselves".
In 2013, Officer Wes Hansen went on an extended attack against a man falsely accused of a crime. The man was later found out to be 100% innocent. His name was Kenneth Maffei. Officer Hansen, along with many other Take Back Santa Cruz members, waged a full on war on him. TBSC mobbed him in court, and vilified him in their Facebook group and on their website. The group never apologized to him when he was exonerated. His ordeal started when a TBSC member thought they saw him, thinking he was a homeless man, stealing from a large display of gifts and flowers left at a memorial for the two SCPD officers killed that year. Maffei was arrested and jailed for 18 days. Evidence was later found to corroborate his innocence.
The vile comments made by Officer Wes Hansen and other TBSC members about Kenneth Maffei are archived here:
Take Back Santa Cruz leader pulls no punches
Concerned community members should complain about the conduct of Officer Wes Hansen to the City of Santa Cruz and to the SCPD. Here is the original TBSC post Hansen left comments on: https://www.facebook.com/takebacksantacruz/photos/a.1089110021107516.1073741827.125545410797320/1305689152782934/
How to complain about bad conduct by the Santa Cruz Police
Contact the Independent Police Auditor:
Robert H. Aaronson
3565 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Email: RAaronson [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Citizen Comment Process:
Citizen Comment form:
809 Center Street, Room 10
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Email: citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Martín Bernal, City Manager
809 Center Street, Room 10
Santa Cruz, California 95060
Email: mbernal [at] cityofsantacruz.com
A community member complains about the inappropriate comments. Samantha Olden is a TBSC leader and she could have the objectionable posts removed, but she makes excuses for leaving them up.